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DRUG dealing in Melbourne’s cemetery has increased to the extent that elderly people are now becoming too intimidated to pay their respects to their loved ones, a public meeting heard.

At the latest meeting of Melbourne Parish Council, held at the Assembly Rooms on March 5, parish councillors voiced their concerns about the situation. Parish council chair Sheila Hicklin said: “There has been an increase in drug dealing activity in the cemetery once again. It has been raised with the PCSO and there are now gangs of youths who are moving memorial benches such that Rob (the sexton) has had to take quite an expensive bench inside for fear of it being damaged. It’s just an ongoing problem.” She added: “It’s just a shame that the elderly feel intimidated going into the cemetery when they are paying their respects. It’s so sad that the people daren’t enter the cemetery and feel intimidated.” It was discussed at the meeting that the parish council should raise its concerns about the issue with local police. Cllr David Smith said: “We have a new police sergeant; could we write to the sergeant and voice the concerns of the community and our disappointment this is going on?” People are being encouraged to report any sightings of drug dealing activity to the police. A spokesman for Derbyshire Constabulary told Village Voice: “We have received a small number of reports regarding the behaviour of a group of young people in Melbourne Cemetery. However, there is no further evidence at this time that drug dealing is taking place in the area. “The cemetery, and surrounding area, is patrolled on a regular basis by officers and anyone with any concerns or information should speak directly to an officer, call the 101 non-emergency number or ring Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. “We rely on this information to inform our policing of the area and it is essential that people contact us if there are issues in their area.”

REASONS TO BE CHEERFUL ... Griselda Kerr (above) and Rosemary and John Oliver (right) have plenty to smile about. Find out why inside.



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New move to monitor airport noise

MONITORING equipment to measure how much residents are affected by noise from East Midlands Airport (EMA) could be coming to Melbourne. The latest meeting of Melbourne Parish Council on March 5 in the Assembly Rooms heard how representatives from the airport were due to come to the village to find a good location for a noise monitor. The airport confirmed the move was part of its Noise Action Plan (NAP) commitment and that it was working with the parish council to identify a location for the equipment. A spokesman for the Kings Newton Residents’ Association and Melbourne Civic Society, who attend the Airport Consultative Committee, commented: “We suggest the noise monitor needs to be under the flightpath for landing aircraft, possibly close to Main Street, Kings Newton. “We will expect EMA to take strong action to curb the loudest noise levels recorded.”

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New call for traffic lights to be looked at

DERBYSHIRE County Council has been urged once again to look at the feasibility of installing traffic lights at a road junction connecting Aston and Weston to Derby. As previously reported in the Village Voice, residents of Aston and Weston-on-Trent have been asking for traffic lights at the junction known as ‘Cuttle Bridge’, connecting the exit from Swarkestone Road on to the A514. Drivers say that attempting the turning on to the A514 towards Derby at busy times at that junction is almost impossible; this particular area has seen accidents in the past – some very serious. The issue was raised again at the February meeting of the Safer Neighbourhood Forum at Melbourne Sports Park. The meeting heard how the volume of traffic on the main road, particularly at peak times, meant there were tailbacks on the main route out of both villages leading to lengthy and unacceptable delays, particularly for any drivers wishing to turn right towards Derby. Speaking at the meeting, Cllr Peter Watson urged the county council to look at the feasibility of traffic lights at this junction. He said that he had previously been told the width of the road and the nearby bridge were factors which militated against the siting of traffic controls. However, he had recently visited a similar location in Willington at the junction of the B5008 and Findern Lane where lights were installed. The measurements of both the canal bridge there and the road widths were almost identical with the Swarkestone Road junction. He said that he had the support of both Aston and Weston parish councils in urging county councillors to take this up again with the highways team. A spokesperson for Derbyshire County Council said: “We take a number of things into account when considering requests for extra road safety measures including the layout of the road, the number of accidents, the local speed limit and actual traffic speeds along the route. “We’re aware of the call for traffic lights at this junction and have arranged to meet the local member Councillor Neil Atkin to discuss.” – Frank Hughes

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n BOOGIEING the night away helped Melbourne’s Jenny Williams celebrate her birthday with friends … and it also raised more funds for the Assembly Rooms. Jenny (pictured with some of her friends) held a birthday “Bop and Boogie Birthday Bash” at the Assembly Rooms on February 15. The fund-raising event featured a bar, food, raffle, live music and DJ, and raised £800 for the Brick by Brick Appeal. The Brick by Brick Appeal is raising funds to refurbish the main hall at the Assembly Rooms.

Why some overweight lorries on causeway are not prosecuted

SOME vehicles over the 7.5 tonne weight limit crossing Swarkestone Causeway are not being routinely prosecuted even where evidence is available, attendees at the recent Local Area Forum were told. Councillor Peter Watson, representing Aston Ward on South Derbyshire District Council at the public meeting held at Melbourne Sports Park on February 12 said he was “very disappointed to learn that even when over double the weight restriction, at 18 tonnes, vehicles were not being prosecuted”. Another attendee told the meeting that he had been informed the threshold for prosecutions was 30 tonnes – four times the stated weight limit. The view of the meeting was

that this was outrageous, and county councillors were urged to report that sentiment back. A spokesman for Derbyshire County Council said: “There are weight restriction signs on all routes to Swarkestone Causeway and electronic messaging signs on the immediate approaches. “We have received a report from Barrow Upon Trent Parish Council of what they believed to be an overweight vehicle and we confirmed that the vehicle had a maximum weight of 18 tonnes. This report has been logged and the company will be monitored. “We do log details of any vehicle that is seen to cross the causeway that is over the weight limit, and our trading

standards team take action if we see that the same lorry uses the causeway again. “We also take immediate action when a lorry with a gross weight of over 30 tonnes is seen to cross the causeway. Between April to December 2018, 26 complaints about HGVs breaching the weight restriction were made by the public. Initial enquiries confirmed that 24 of these were above the 30-tonne limit. From those 24 breaches, four have been prosecuted resulting in fines of £1,406; two cases are awaiting a court outcome; one case resulted in a caution; two have had a letter of warning; two were unable to proceed; and 13 are still under investigation. – Frank Hughes

Deadlock foils burglary attempt

POLICE are urging van owners to fit their vehicles with deadlocks after one of these devices foiled a burglary attempt in Melbourne. Police said an attempt was made to prize open the rear door of a van parked in Quick Close between 8.30pm on February 21 and 8.45am the following day, but no entry was gained; the vehicle was fitted with deadlocks. Damage was caused to the doors of the van,

however. A police spokesperson said: “Van owners – please consider adding a deadlock to your vans, these add an extra locking point to the vehicle door, making it more difficult to break into.” Police have asked if anyone has CCTV in this location to please check it, and if anything was seen between these times that may assist police, to phone 101 quoting 19*92680.

Liam launches solo career with a single MELBOURNE musician Liam Coffey has taken the plunge and is recording solo under the name of LCM. His debut single ‘Youth’ is being released this month. Liam is currently working with seasoned musicians to put together a run of shows later this year when he hopes to play at the Melbourne Assembly Rooms. He said: “This is the first solo project I’ve ever done; I’ve been inspired to do it now as I want to set an example to my kids that you can do anything if you put the work in. “Last November I wrote six to seven demos and sent them to anyone who’d listen. They were all based around the subject of youth, whether through the eyes of a child or as a parent. “They reached every corner of the world, through people sharing

Village Voice March 2019 3

them, so I thought I’d better get something recorded properly.” Better known locally for his work with Thunderous Jones and as frontman for the Kings ov Leon tribute band, he’s not abandoning those bands but is looking forward to a new direction in his solo career music and has recently appeared on BBC Radio Stoke to promote the single which has a haunting quality with echoes of the Smiths, The Verve and New Order. Above all, Liam says he is grateful for the support he has received locally and from his partner, Amy, all his friends and family. “It has been overwhelming and it’s really spurred me on,” he said. Youth is available via all digital platforms including iTunes, Spotify and google play from March 15.

Good news at last on the playground front

CHILDREN are now able to play safely on their playground slide at a park in Melbourne’s Coronation Close, after it was finally repaired. Jim Hewlett, who represents Melbourne on South Derbyshire District Council – which is responsible for this particular children’s park – said in his written report to the latest meeting of the village’s parish council on March 5 that work to mend the broken slide had finally been done. He said that the contractor originally employed to do the job had neglected the work for several months and that it was eventually completed by a new contractor. Mums at the park when the Village Voice visited said they were pleased to see the slide had been mended, especially as one main piece of play equipment in the Lothian Gardens park – which is run by the parish council – had not yet been replaced after it was removed last summer due to health and safety. An accident inspection had found the old equipment in Lothian Gardens was rotting at its base and so it was taken away in July last year. But the parish council meeting also heard that a contractor had now been appointed to replace the Lothian Gardens equipment, and the order had gone in. Streetscape has been appointed to do the work, but timescales as to when it will be done are not yet known. The parish council has asked South Derbyshire District Council for £3,500 from its community fund to put towards the cost of the new equipment. The bouncy castle, which was a popular addition to Lothian Gardens last summer, is also set to return this year, parish councillors agreed. A two to three year planning system is now being proposed for Lothian Gardens, to help manage timescales to prevent delays in replacing equipment when it is no longer safe to use. – Lucy Stephens

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l Twins Daisey and Florence Stephens (front and back), five, with Jacob Faulkner, four, enjoying the newly mended slide.

REGISTRATION is now open for local over-60s who would like to find out more about a range of topics – from mobility to fire safety – at the annual “Liberation Day” organised by South Derbyshire District Council. People are invited to go along and seek advice from experts on health and wellbeing and community safety at the event on Wednesday, May 15. Free parking is available at the event and free transport can also be provided for those who need it. There will also be a free lunch. The event, to be held from 10am to 2.30pm at Gresley Old Hall, is free but pre-booking is essential as places are limited. Booking was open from March 5 until Friday, April 12. Chris Smith, Communities Manager for the Safer South Derbyshire Partnership, said: “It’s fantastic to see the generations come together to have fun in a relaxed atmosphere and access advice on how to stay safe, active and healthy, as well as find local services that might be of benefit. We are looking forward to welcoming everyone.”

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Generation game is a winner

4 Village Voice March 2019

“I USED to do that when I was a little girl,” says Kath Webster, a 95-year-old resident of Richmond Villages in Aston-on-Trent, watching a small girl carefully painting a potato opposite her. “That’s right, pretend it’s an aeroplane,” says June Mead, as the girl launches her freshly painted, carved potato heart into the air before planting it firmly on the table cloth they are all decorating together, for Valentine’s Day. This is one of an increasing number of visits that local pre-school group, Weston Under Fives, has been making to Richmond Villages over the past year, in order that young and slightly older can spend good times together. Intergenerational visits such as these have been more and more in the news, with the benefits of people of very different ages interacting with each other plain to see by the relaxed smiles on every face. A young child’s lack of judgement and clarity of questioning has often shown to be a refreshing stimulus for an elderly person who may be experiencing the effects of conditions such as dementia, for example. Likewise, an older person is often far more unfazed by the unpredictable nature of the very young: they’ve seen it all before after all. The partnership between Weston Under Fives and Richmond Villages began in the summer in 2018, and since then the pre-schoolers and Richmond residents have been meeting up and doing lots together: card making, singing songs, raising money for charities or playing giant skittles in the retirement village’s sensory garden. Tracey Stinchcombe, head of activities at Richmond Aston on Trent said: “It is always a pleasure to welcome the pre-school to our retirement

l Susan Rainford helps Felicity decide where to stamp her potato, while Kath Webster (right) enjoys the printing fun with Oliver. village. Our residents really look forward to the visits. “There is nothing like the energy of the children to invigorate our residents. You can see how much fun everyone is having from the big smiles all round. The visits really do provide a perfect opportunity for the young children and residents to learn from one another. “There is also nothing better than seeing the residents sharing their life stories and memories with the children, which gives the younger generation a real insight into life in the past and keeps history alive.” For Richmond resident Susan Rainford, the visits from the children are just like going back

to work again – the former secondary school teacher has always enjoyed spending time with young people. “I think these visits are good for both of us,” she says. “I spent my life with children, I’ve been a teacher and I miss children.” “Everybody loves it,” says Tracey. “It’s a nice adventure for the children to come on the bus and come and see us. One time, we got some farm tools out and one little boy was driving a tractor. I said to him, if you speak to that lady over there, she has some real tractors. He drove over to her and they had a lovely conversation about it.” For Jane Jowett, deputy manager, of Weston Under Fives, the excitement of the visit for the

children is just as great: “They are mixing with different people of different ages – it’s a really big experience for the children because they are showing interest in the lives of others, gaining new experiences and learning to respect other people’s viewpoints, as well as making new friends.” “And our parents like the fact we are making links with the community when we come here. We all get so much from this experience” adds manager, Kathleen Poxon. The partnership between Weston Under Fives and Richmond Villages is set to continue with many more visits planned. – Lucy Stephens


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This tour is one not to be missed as we follow in the footsteps of William Wordsworth exploring the stunning Lake District. INCLUDED IN THE PRICE: • Roberts Gold Service • 4 nights hotel accommodation, dinner and cooked breakfast throughout. Tea/coffee on arrival at the hotel • 1-hour tour and tasting at the Lakes Distillery Company, Cumbria • Single journey on Lakeside & Haverthwaite Railway • A lake cruise on Windermere from Lakeside to Bowness • An Ullswater Lake cruise from Glenridding to Pooley Bridge • Free time in Keswick and Grasmere • Plus more!

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Christine says goodbye to Community Care role


Village Voice March 2019 5

MELBOURNE Community Care has a new co-manager helping keep the well-used transport charity’s wheels turning – after the retirement of Christine Lee. Christine stepped down from the role helping run Community Care with Alison Thornhill, but volunteer Katrina Shipway will now be doing the job in her place, continuing to work with Alison. A packed leaving party was held to say good-bye to Christine at the Assembly Rooms on March 5. Christine said: “Community Care always gets positive feedback about how good our volunteers are, and people do things that are above and beyond the call of duty. “The care and the volunteers are just amazing – it’s been a privilege to be a part of it. “Melbourne is very fortunate to have Community Care. I’ve known people whose parents or family are living elsewhere and they go there looking for Community Care and there isn’t one. We’re very fortunate as a village to have it.” Melbourne Community Care was set up in the early 1980s by the late Dr Brendan Freeman. With around 50 volunteers on its books, serving well over 100 people in the local community, the charity provides transport to those who need it, including trips to the supermarket, using its minibus with tail-lift. The Community Care office in William’s Yard has contact information on local services and the charity also runs a befriending service. Melbourne Community Care chairman Brian Dollamore said Christine would be much missed. “She’s been a real stalwart, she introduced new people and new systems,” he said. Katrina, who is now taking over Christine’s role as co-manager, had already been a volunteer for Community Care. “It’s such a worthwhile cause,” she said. “What they do is brilliant. It’s a great charity to be a part of.”

Want to run the library? Book an open day visit

ANYONE interested in putting forward a plan to run Melbourne Library as a community-managed asset is being invited to book and attend a special open day. The event is being held at Melbourne Library on Thursday, March 14, a day when it is not normally open so as to allow visitors the chance to have a tour of the building and talk through the process involved with council staff. Melbourne’s open day is one of 20 being held across the county in March and April, and it comes after Derbyshire County Council last year announced plans to transfer these 20 of its 45 libraries – including Melbourne’s – to community ownership. The plan is part of cost-cutting measures to save £12million on the council budget. Melbourne Library is one of the county’s lesser used with an active membership of under 900. It’s currently open for 15 and a half hours a week, and in the year 2016/7 had 12,775 visits, with 23,216 books and audiobooks issued to users. The library has around 6,600 books and audiobooks which would remain the property of Derbyshire County Council if transferred to a community-run library, but would still be available for use. The county council said in an information pack on Melbourne’s library, that it would also continue to provide “some new stock”. The council wants groups to come forward with their plans for running the facility. An information pack published on its website provides key details about the building, running costs and current usage. County council Leader Councillor Barry Lewis is appealing to community groups and organisations to book a place at their local library open day. He said: “We value our library service and we know that our communities do, too. This is a real opportunity for groups to come together and work with us to secure the future of the service by taking over their own library and helping it to grow, thrive and become a tailor-made community hub. It will have the potential to reinvigorate communities and put libraries back into the heart of their town or village.” All the information, including an ‘expression of interest’ form and dates for the open days can be

FAREWELL PARTY (l-r) Katrina Shipway, Christine Lee, Brian Dollamore and Alison Thornhill.

found at Open days will run from 12-6pm. The council’s current drive is to identify groups or organisations to run community libraries, but people who want to volunteer at libraries in the future can still register their interest by emailing their name, contact details and the library they are interested in to Groups who are not able to attend their local library open day but want to find out more can contact the county council’s libraries team via the same email address with a view to arranging a meeting for a convenient day and time. The council says its staff will be on hand “every step of the way” to guide interested groups through the process, and there will also be help and support for individuals if they want to set up a group from scratch with a view to taking over one of the 20 libraries. If successful, the council says groups will be invited to work with them on a phased basis to ensure a smooth transition. The launch is the first stage, and interested groups in each area will be identified, with council staff finding out more about their plans and ideas. The second stage will see groups putting together a business plan which will be assessed by officers. The council has undertaken to support successful applicants with five years of tapered grant funding; arranging independent support where needed; two years of support with financial processes; managing the transition and providing staff support for two years, and help with recruitment, training and developing e-learning packages. – Frank Hughes

Repeat prescriptions

A NEW system for ordering repeat prescriptions is now up and running in Melbourne. Patients are asked to order repeat medication via a new phone line. The local CCG (Clinical Commisioning Group) says people can get more information from their practice or at

in brief

Village fun of the fair ALL the fun of the fair will be in Ticknall in a new event being planned to bring the village together. A grand village fete is in the planning to take place on May 6. It is set to feature children’s activities, traditional fairground games, stalls for craft, food, plants and books, competitions, live music, children’s character appearances, home-made refreshments, maypole dancing, a dog show, and the crowning of the May Queen and King. Parents and staff from Dame Catherine Harpur’s School are planning the event, which is intended to include all clubs, organisations and societies in Ticknall and surrounding areas. Anyone interested in having a stall, selling goods, crafts or plants can contact

‘Little Stars’ disco date

THIS year’s “Little Stars” disco, a fund-raiser for children run by the Staley family, is being held at Melbourne Assembly Rooms on May 12.

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6 Village Voice March 2019

Country Living with Robert Parker

Now, I’m counting sheep

WELL, February “fill dyke” certainly didn’t live up to its nickname this year and, except for a few days early in the month, was very dry. It also broke the record for the warmest day in this month since records began. This was at Ceredigion in South Wales. So, basically, the drought continues – which is a worry for the year ahead as groundwater reserves must be extremely low. Farmers have been taking advantage of this phenomenon, which is a direct contrast to last year as at this time we were in the middle of suffering the ‘Beast from the East’. We have sown beans and wheat into perfect conditions, the only worry being for a pessimist like me is that the beans are right next to the River Trent, and a large flood would see them badly damaged. Let’s hope for the best! n Since packing up milking cows we have started a new venture in a very small way, of sheep farming. At the moment we are in the middle of lambing, which has meant some unsocial hours and hard graft.

I’ve always been able to get up any time in the night, being a poor sleeper, and with the sheep next door to the house it’s a simple thing to slip on my dressing gown and go on patrol. Good job I don’t meet anyone at that time as I don’t wear much in bed. That aside, so far it’s surprised me how few so far have had their lambs in the real dead of night, most being born at dusk and dawn. And with the weather being so kind it’s been easy to turn them out to grass as soon as the lambs are strong. Newborn lambs in the field will lift everyone’s hearts! n The Brexit fiasco continues and it looks unlikely that the planned date for exit will be achieved. Lots of businesses, farming included, are in a state of flux over what they can do to prepare for the future. All our politicians are letting us down badly on this and should be thoroughly ashamed of what’s happening. Thank goodness farming will continue no matter what is thrown at us.


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SPRING is here at last, and these natural blooms flourishing in verges and flowerboxes around our local villages simply prove it. Our photographer Tina Baker took these shots of daffodils flourishing around the Melbourne village sign, and her lens also captured pretty clumps of crocuses in Aston, Barrow and Thulston, too.


RESIDENTS along Arleston Lane which links Sinfin to Twyford are campaigning to try to prevent “unsavoury” anti-social behaviour along the remote country road. At a February Local Area Forum meeting held in Melbourne (public meetings where local people have the chance to talk to police and council representatives on safety matters) residents and councillors alike were highlighting the issues which need to be tackled. One resident referred to fly-tipping, drug dealing and drug taking, prostitution, couples having sex in cars and “lamping” taking place on a regular basis along Arleston Road. She called for a local campaign and more action to try to deal with the offending. Although there are notices in the area to warn off fly tippers, it was thought that offenders often may be from non-English speaking communities

and might not understand that it is an offence. Environmental Health manager Matthew Holford told the meeting that they had previously stationed CCTV in the area, but if the camera was too far away or had not been triggered by motion, it had not provided images good enough for prosecutions. A suggestion to close off one end of the road was proposed, but this had been looked at already and the provision of a turning area for vehicles was a limiting factor. One of the locals advised that they had resorted to shining torches onto parked cars to deter the nuisance, but there was a concern that this might be putting them at risk. Cllr Peter Watson suggested that a small working group should be convened to try to work out what solutions might be found. – Frank Hughes

ONE of Melbourne’s oldest running organisations held its annual general meeting in February, having been now going for nearly a century. Melbourne Allotment Holders Association Ltd, known as “Hilly Field Allotments” was set up as a private company in 1921, the original intention being to provide plots for war veterans, retired market gardeners and miners to support their families. Today, the association is still open to anyone who loves gardening and wants to grow their own fresh produce at very little cost. Chairman Jenny Starkie reported at the 98th AGM that 2018 had been a “curate’s egg” of a year, with a long, cold spring followed by an exceptionally hot and dry summer.

As a result of this, some vegetable crops had struggled, but on the plus side fruit yields were very heavy, thanks to the late pollination. Hedges had been cut back by a contractor at the southern side, and by the Melbourne Sporting Partnership at the western hedge. “We were very pleased with the result, and adjoining plot holders will now be able to maintain their hedges much more readily,” said one of the allotment holders. At the moment, there are no vacant plots at the allotments with 67 shareholders and 15 probationers. Annual upkeep fees have been frozen at £10 for a half plot and £15 for a full plot. The group has decided to investigate installing on-site toilet facilities.

98th AGM for allotment holders

Mat’s the way ...

A DEDICATED haulage firm manager from Kings Newton has been crowned Britain’s best rural employee. Mat Bonner, operations manager for DG Light Haulage, beat off competition from across the UK to win Rural Employee of the Year at the finals of the Rural Business Awards, held at Chateau Impney in Worcestershire. Mat had also won this category in the regional heat of the awards scheme, which was held in the autumn of 2018. “I am thrilled to have won the Rural Employee of the Year Award. I have really enjoyed working for DG Light Haulage over the last few years, and find my role as operations manager immensely rewarding. “I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to David Guilford (managing director of DG Light Haulage) for nominating me, and can’t wait to celebrate this win with the rest of the team,” said Mat. DG Light Haulage is a transport, logistics and warehousing specialist operating from three rural sites in Kings Newton, Wilson and Swarkestone. Working in the UK and internationally, the firm’s modern fleet includes vans, light commercial and heavy

haulage vehicles up to 44 tonnes. Since managing director David Guilford spotted Mat Bonner’s customer service and management talent in his local pub in 2015, Mat became a core part of the DG Light Haulage team. With a background in financial services, Mat’s strong skill set supports his operations manager role, including excellent communication, organisation and negotiating skills and the essential ability to juggle and respond to the challenging and changing needs of many clients. As operations manager, Mat is responsible for the day-to-day running of the company’s 10 drivers, multiple sub-contractors and fleet which includes everything from a van to a low loader trailer. “We couldn't be more proud that Mat’s dedication and professionalism has been acknowledged at the national finals of the Rural Business Awards. Winning the title of ‘Employee of the Year’ is a fantastic achievement which recognises the extent to which Mat consistently goes above and beyond for the business and our customers. “He truly is an asset to our business and a core member of our team,” said David Guilford.

Village Voice March 2019 7 l Jules Hudson, of Countryfile, and Mat Bonner (centre) with Rural Business Awards founders Anna Price and Jemma Clifford, with Hollie Vickers.

Poster campaign in battle over dog poo

NEW glow-in-the-dark posters aiming to shame dog walkers to “scoop the poop” are being launched in South Derbyshire – but so far the local area around Melbourne is not in line to get any. The new campaign has been launched by South Derbyshire District Council together with Keep Britain Tidy. Called “We’re Watching You”, it aims to reduce dog fouling in hot spots across the district by putting up glow in the dark posters which “charge” up during the day using natural daylight and then glow in dark areas at night, in places where it’s thought dog owners believe they can’t be seen. The signs are designed to be a glaring reminder to dog walkers that they need to pick up after their dog. The Village Voice asked South Derbyshire District Council whether Melbourne or some of the other villages covered by our newspaper would be getting any of the new posters. We were told that towns and villages such as Melbourne, Ticknall, Barrow, Aston and Weston did not currently feature in the half a dozen places about which council officers are receiving the most complaints about dog fouling so would not be in the first tranche of the poster campaign. However, we were also told this may change and the signs could potentially move elsewhere if hotspots are re-evaluated. The council said that throughout the duration of the campaign, the sites would be monitored and action will be taken to reassure the 85 per cent of South Derbyshire residents who say that dog mess is the most problematic environmental issue in their day-to-day lives. A social media campaign will prompt people to report dog-fouling on the council’s website, as well as provide information on how dog owners can be more responsible when out walking their dogs. Keep Britain Tidy launched a pilot version of the campaign across 120 dog-fouling hotspots between December 2013 and March 2014. This social experiment showed an average of a 46 per cent reduction in dog fouling incidents. The council is now hoping to follow in its lead and reduce dog-fouling amongst those irresponsible dog owners who don’t pick up after their

pooch. Anyone subsequently caught not picking up after their dog on public land will be hit with a £75 penalty notice. Cllr Martyn Ford, Leader of South Derbyshire District Council and member for Findern ward, said: “Residents have expressed their concerns about dog fouling spoiling residential and scenic areas across South Derbyshire. The message is clear to dog owners – we won’t hesitate to take action if you fail to clean up after your dog. “The vast majority of dog owners are responsible people, who habitually pick up after their dog and dispose of the poo bags correctly, either in the nearest bin or by taking home to put in their own household waste bin. “We are thrilled to be working with environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy, and being a part of such a cutting-edge campaign.” Since 2008, it has been an offence not to pick up after your dog on any public land across the whole of South Derbyshire. Although 90 per cent of owners always pick up after their dog, the campaign hopes to raise awareness and let residents know that the council’s safer neighbourhood wardens monitor, inspect and maintain areas on a regular basis to ensure that the district is clean for all to enjoy. Residents are urged to report dog fouling and other environmental crimes via www.south-derb y s . g o v. u k / o u r- s e r v i c e s / s t r e e t - c a r e / d o g control/dog-and-animal-fouling

Fund-raising tea

AN afternoon tea to raise funds for this year’s Well Dressing weekend in Aston-on-Trent is being held at the War Memorial Hall from 2pm to 4pm on March 17. More well dressing events in this year’s calendar include the annual music fund-raiser Astonbury, which takes place on May 3 at All Saints’ Church and on May 4 at the War Memorial Hall, from 7pm on both evenings. This year’s well dressing is happening on July 7 and 8 from 11am in the centre of the village. The charities to benefit are Aquabox and SAVE (Save Aston Village Environment).


THE third annual “Mel” awards, celebrating the best organisations, businesses and sports people in Melbourne, are now open for nominations. With the event itself happening on April 7, the deadline for entries for this year’s celebration is March 16. People are asked to enter those individuals or organisations they feel should win

in the awards’ 12 categories, including “Performer of the Year”; “Event of the Year”; “Retailer of the Year” and “Neighbour of the Year”. Votes can be emailed to the Melbourne Assembly Rooms on For more information on the different categories and how to nominate, call 01332 863522.

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n CHILDREN blew up a storm at a party held at Melbourne Parish Church, courtesy of Paul Brown from Magical Mayhem. Paul brought hundreds of brightly coloured balloons which were used to build towers reaching the ceiling and fancy dress costumes for super-heroes. The children made themselves colourful outfits including helmets, cloaks, shields and hearts. The next big event for primary children to be held at the church will be a Jungle themed day run by ‘Pulse’ on Friday, April 12. Pictured above are (right) Paul Brown and Benjamin Short joining in the fun.

FROM serving in the sea battles of the Second World War to helping Calke Abbey move from the Harpur-Crewe family to the National Trust – it’s been a rich life for Ticknall couple John and Rosemary Oliver, who celebrated 65 years of marriage this month. John and Rosemary were married at All Saints’ Church in Granby, Nottinghamshire, on March 9, 1954, in a service conducted by Rosemary’s father Gerald Francis. They had met the previous year at Kettering General Hospital when John, a policeman at that time, had been visiting on a work-related matter and Rosemary was working as a nurse. John was already a veteran of the Second World War where he served in the Royal Navy. His brother, Tommy, had also been in the Royal Navy and was one of 764 crew members of HMS Neptune which sank on December 19, 1941, when it ran into an uncharted minefield in the Mediterranean – in one of the worst naval disasters of the Second World War. Every year, John and Rosemary pay tribute to the fallen of HMS Neptune and HMS Kandahar – the ship which itself struck a mine when trying to rescue Neptune – at the National Memorial Arboretum at Alrewas. Far from turning away from all things sea-related, John’s response to the loss of his brother was to lie about his age (he was only 16) and join the Royal Navy himself, where he stayed from 1942 to 1952. John said: “I was coming up to 17, my brother had been killed. We lived by the sea, we were born by the sea (in South Shields) – we wouldn’t have gone into the Army or the Air Force. “The job I had was based at Harwich and it was to go out into the North Sea and try and intercept the German A-Boats. There were live mines in the convoy lane – it was a bit exciting at times!” John left the Navy to join the police force, following in the footsteps of his father, who had left Northumberland to join the Canadian Mounties but sadly drowned in a canoe accident before the rest of his family could join him. Four children arrived to the newly-weds: Gillian, Christine, Jacqueline and Ian, and the family lived in Northamptonshire before the next exciting chapter in their lives arrived when they were invited to go to Ticknall so that trained nurse Rosemary could look after Airmyne Jenney, of Calke Abbey. Working with Airmyne, Charles and Henry Harpur-Crewe at the end of Calke Abbey’s tenure in private hands, the Olivers continued their association with Calke when crippling death duties at the demise of Charles in 1981 meant – after some wrangling – the estate passed over to the National Trust as payment. John stayed on to oversee security at Calke and manned the gate to visitors until he was 70. In one particularly interesting episode during his

ABOVE: John and Rosemary at the National Arboretum at Alrewas, where they pay tribute to the men who died on HMS Neptune and HMS Kandahar every year. LEFT: John and Rosemary on their wedding day in 1954.

time there, he and Henry helped uncover the magnificent state bed, which is one of the treasures of Calke. Today, it may seem a long time ago to the Olivers since their wedding (when meat rationing was still in force in Britain), but Rosemary still has the spray of flowers she wore on her lapel that day. The couple enjoy the close-knit community of Ticknall and Rosemary her love of art – she was an art student in Nottingham before becoming a nurse. As well as looking after Airmyne Jenney, when the Olivers moved to Ticknall she also used her nursing training to look after many others, from elderly residents to families with young children, in Ticknall, Stanton and Melbourne. Along with their four children, Rosemary and John have six grandchildren: Madeleine, Katie, Vicky, Axel, Indiana and Farhanna, two greatgrandchildren: Jack and Evie, and another one on the way. – Lucy Stephens


MEMBERS of the public are being asked to tell police if they are offered a yellow air compressor with GAP written on the sides for sale. A compressor matching this description was taken from a rural location in Ticknall between

March 1 and 4, said police. Harris fencing was also removed. Anyone offered the opportunity to buy an air compressor like this is asked to call police on 101, quoting 19*111217 with details.

Village Voice March 2019 9

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Final bow for children’s drama group

l Children from the Stage Left drama group with their teacher, Allison Hunt (pictured second from right, in poncho) taking a bow after the group’s final performance.

A MUCH-LOVED children’s theatre group that has been going for 10 years has taken its final bow, with the retirement of drama teacher Allison Hunt. Children from Melbourne and the surrounding area have the past decade been attending weekly drama classes at the Stage Left Theatre run by experienced teacher Allison in Melbourne Assembly Rooms. Allison retired from the group after the final curtain went down on the last production, Snow White and the Magnificent Seven, performed at the Robert Ludlam Theatre in Derby on February 1. If the title of the production rings bells, yet is not instantly familiar, that is because Allison wrote all her own plays for Stage Left’s yearly theatre productions, with this final one seeing Snow White transported into the town of Cactus Creek, in the American deep south, where she must win a local pie competition in order to save the family farm.

As you might expect, things initially don’t go Snow’s way but the day is saved by … you’ve guessed it … the Magnificent Seven, with plenty of singing, dancing and fun along the way. Allison, from Aston-on-Trent, who also runs the Paper Moon boutique in Leicestershire, took the decision to retire from running drama classes having been involved in all things theatrical for many years. Originally from Canada, she started out in amateur dramatics there and, after moving to Britain in the 1980s, carried on over here, running classes in lots of places including at St Wystan’s and Markeaton primaries, and St Benedict Catholic Voluntary Academy in Derby, home of the Robert Ludlam Theatre. She also continued to tread the boards herself, having been twice nominated for the prestigious Eagle amateur dramatic awards in Derby. Her involvement with Belper Stage Productions also meant that for many of the

shows she put on involving Melbourne children, older, seasoned performers were able to go along and join in the productions, helping give young players more confidence. “I’ve always thought my Melbourne group were wonderful,” she said. “The older children always helped the younger ones.” Asked why drama was important for children, she said: “I think it’s wonderful to build their life confidence; it’s wonderful for them to work with other people and perform in groups with different kinds of people. “Sometimes they come to a group and break out of school friendships and meet different people, and they learn to work as a team.” We will still be able to see Allison doing a spot of performing; she and her husband Andrew – whom she first met through theatre – will be singing together as part of Curly Magpie events on various occasions at Calke Abbey.

Views sought on new A50 junction scheme ROAD TO BE CLOSED

ADVICE for commuters – Main Street, Kings Newton, will be closed for around a day and a half at the end of this month for road works to take place. Derbyshire County Council is closing the road from its junctions with Jawbone Lane and Swarkestone Road between 7pm on March 26 to 6am on March 28 while flood monitoring equipment is installed. The county council said access would be maintained on the road “whenever reasonably possible” and that it would re-open as soon as the work was finished. The alternative route will lead drivers from the point of closure on Main Street via Station Road and Packhorse Road. n AN EXTRA £8.4million was awarded to Derbyshire County Council by the Department of Transport, to be spent on fixing potholes, resurfacing country lanes, rebuilding retaining walls and fixing drains. The money must be spent before April. Councillor Simon Spencer, Derbyshire County Council Cabinet Member for Highways, Transport and Infrastructure, said: “We’re delighted to have received this funding, which is on top of the £36m the county council is already investing in its roads this year.”

COUNTY council leaders and developers attended a special open day in Barrow-upon-Trent asking local residents for their views on a proposed new junction on the A50 just north of the small village. Derbyshire County Council is responsible for putting together proposals for a new junction that, if permission is granted, would see a new two-roundabout system allowing traffic to get on and off the A50 between Barrow to the south, and Sinfin to the north. It’s all part of the much larger 450hectare “Infinity Garden Village” project that will see around 3,000 houses built between the south side of Derby and the A50, bordered by Rolls-Royce to the north, Chellaston to the east and Sinfin to the west. A new business park creating up to 5,000 jobs, plus a new primary school, secondary school, open spaces and shops are also proposed, the planning applications for which are set to be dealt with by Derby City Council and South Derbyshire District Council. David Ward, planning director of Leicestershire-based Wilson Bowden Developments – one of the developers collaborating on Infinity Garden Village – was at the open day in Barrow on March 4 to talk to residents about their views on the proposed new junction.

Another open day had also been held in Sinfin. He said: “There have been some concerns, particularly about whether or not the new junction will attract more traffic to use the existing highways … and whether it will attract HGVs with all the known problems there are on Swarkestone Bridge. “A lot of people I’ve talked to have also said this will be a huge advantage in terms of travelling. There has been a balance of opinion.” If planning permission for the new junction is granted, it is estimated that the work would take 18 months to complete with the slip roads built first and construction traffic travelling in from Infinity Park Way on to a temporary road leading to the junction. Derby’s Infinity Garden Village was granted Government funding in January, 2017. A joint bid for the project was submitted by South Derbyshire District Council and Derby City Council, and was one of 14 successful bids, out of more than 50 applications across the UK. Timescales for delivery of the Infinity Garden Village are dependent on many factors, and it is likely to still be years off getting started. – Lucy Stephens

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“MAY MUSICALS” On Friday 10th and Saturday May 11th At Melbourne Assembly Rooms A selection of songs from musical theatre and films. Some old and some new. Something for everyone. Tickets £10 adults and £5 children will be on sale at Forteys, from choir members and at the Choir’s website: Doors open at 7.00pm Concert starts at 7.30pm on both nights

Lottery cash helps save historic church spire

URGENT repairs paid for by Lottery cash have saved the spire of a 1,000-year-old church from having to be dismantled. Last autumn, Twyford Parochial Church Council applied for Heritage Lottery Fund money to pay for urgent repairs to historic St Andrew’s Church. Of particular concern was the fact that the pointing between stones on the spire had disintegrated to the extent that the stones were starting to move and it was feared the spire itself would have to be dismantled and lottery money applied for in order to put it back up. But the Heritage Lottery Fund came to the rescue and at the beginning of this year granted £81,200 so that the work could be carried out. The project, called “The historic church of St Andrew’s – Aspiring to restore, conserve and inform” – focuses on the restoration and conservation of the 1,000-year-old, grade 1 listed building. Commenting on the award, Anne Bennett, on behalf of Twyford Parochial Church Council, said: “We are delighted to have received this support, thanks to the National Lottery players, and are confident that St. Andrew’s Church has a continuing part to play for present and future generations.” Of interest in St Andrew’s is a memorial to former lord of the manor Simon Bristowe, who joined Cromwell’s army and killed a Royalist soldier at Tutbury Castle. The soldiers swore to be revenged and when

Simon’s brother, William, died in 1645, the records say that “ … his manservant buried him privately at night in Twyford Churchyard and levelled the ground as the King’s army had threatened to come and burn his body”. As well as that, the west end of St Andrew’s contains Maltese crosses, the insignia of the Knights Hospitallers – an order of monks founded in the 1100s, and cared for pilgrims on their way to the shrine of St Wystan, at Repton. St Andrew’s marks the final resting place of John Wright, an eminent surgeon who died in 1850 and was well known for his work at the newly opened Derbyshire General Infirmary, before anaesthesia. It also has a stained glass window funded by Sir William Towle, the blacksmith’s son who was born in Twyford in 1849, and rose through the ranks of the Midland Railway to pioneer the on-train basket catering service that included hot food from 1887. The project is part of activity to preserve St Andrew’s as a place of worship, a community centre and a building to inform and engage present and future generations. Twyford Parochial Church Council is a small group of people annually elected from the congregation of St. Andrew’s Church. Its purpose is to support people of any age or denomination in the local and wider community and maintain this heritage building. Fund-raising is also part of their purpose to enable maintenance and improvements to be undertaken.

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en-fingered Griselda’s blooming good book IT HAS been about 15 years in the making, but Griselda Kerr’s first gardening book is ready for launch this spring. “The Apprehensive Gardener: Managing Garden Plants� is the book Griselda wished she had had when she decided to take on the huge task of caring for her garden at the Dower House. “I used to look with growing despair at the miserable-looking plants in the garden, but I knew nothing at all about gardening,� she said. After training at gardening school, then Broomfield and Brooksby Colleges she started tackling the garden, with apprehension, and began to collect snippets of advice and information which has grown into a wealth of expert advice to produce her new book. Griselda explained that its purpose is not for garden design nor an encyclopaedia for experts, but for a garden where the plants are already in situ. “It is about what to do with plants in your garden,� she said. It is arranged by month and describes what could or should be done on a plant-by-plant basis. There are about 600 plants covered in the book, and 700 entries, including advice on treating various diseases. There is a comprehensive glossary of gardening terms, and a useful index of plants listed by common and Latin names. A monthly reference schedule makes it easy to find the specific information needed. It is also bound with a durable wipe-clean cover which makes it ideal for reference, even wearing gardening gloves with secateurs in hand! Clear instructions tell you what

needs to be done, whether it is pruning, clipping, dividing, thinning down, or just plain leaving alone. She said the catalyst to getting the book published was a conversation during an event at Kew. “A friend, with contacts at Pimpernell Press, encouraged me to submit my idea; they liked it, so I finished two chapters, for January and August, and took it from there.â€? She is planning a local “pre-launchâ€? talk called “Spring Unfolds with the Apprehensive Gardenerâ€? on Wednesday, April 24, at Melbourne Assembly Rooms, where copies will be available. It will be chaired by Lesley Hough, chairman of Melbourne Garden Club. The official launch will take place on May 9 at Daunts bookshop, Notting Hill Gate, while on June 3 she will be talking at the Derby Book Festival. Although bursting with colourful photographs, all expertly taken by husband William in their garden, Griselda said “it is certainly not a ‘coffee table’ book – it is aimed at giving practical gardening help about what to do, when to do it, and howâ€?. Like any budding author, she dreams that it will be “a big successâ€?, but she just loved seeing the finished book itself – “with a long gestation period, it’s a bit like a child to me!â€? The book is available now (ÂŁ16.99) direct from the author ( or on order from Amazon. So, if your clematis is in a tangle, or your creeping phlox has gone a bit thin in the middle, The Apprehensive Gardener might just be what you need. – Frank Hughes

Village Voice March 2019 11


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‘Robin Man’ to give garden club talk

INTERESTED in ornithology? Or willow sculpture? BBC Springwatch’s “Robin Man�, David Tideswell, will be in Melbourne for the April meeting of the Melbourne Garden Club to talk about the friendly garden robin. The garden club is starting up again this month, with its regular meetings on the second Monday of each month at the Senior Citizens Centre, at 7pm. Other talks include basket making and wil-

low sculpture by Maggie Cooper, a trade for which Castle Donington was once famed. Melbourne Garden Club also arranges further afield trips for its members. All new members are welcome. The first meeting of the season will take place on March 11.

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Death at 82 of Eileen Hardy

Happy to hear you play it again, Sam

12 Village Voice March 2019

WHEN a performer has 30,000-plus listeners on Spotify, his You Tube recordings are regularly watched by the same number of people and he is appearing at the 02 Arena in London in March, you could be forgiven for asking what a Nashville-based, Americana legend is doing touring small town venues in this country. Sam Lewis, who appeared recently at the Melbourne Assembly Rooms, was only too happy to explain to a supportive audience: “I simply love performing my songs, whether it’s to 70-plus people in Melbourne or as a part of the Country 2 Country Festival in front of 40,000 at the 02 in London, I find the audience feedback in small venues every bit as intense, intimate and rewarding. “The Assembly Rooms has a great atmosphere which sets up a performer to want to give his best; I hope I did.” He sure did. Performing solo at the Assembly Rooms gave him the chance to take his songs back to their original roots and take his audience on a fascinating ride through small town America interspersing the songs with a self-deprecating humour and warmth that ensured the audience were with him all the way. The enthusiastic Valentine’s Night audience took to him immediately and didn’t just politely ask for three encores but demanded them. Lewis was only too happy to oblige and stay around after the show for a chat, selfies and autographs.

ONE of Melbourne and Kings Newton’s keenest local citizens has died aged 82. Former Melbourne parish councillor Eileen Hardy, of Kings Newton, died in January at Royal Derby Hospital. Over many years, she had taken a highly keen interest in local affairs, turning up to more or less every single parish council meeting that took place in Melbourne, to report to councillors on local issues such as potholes, hedges needing cutting, poor drainage, odd smells – and to check back that the appropriate work had been done to fix the problems. Current Melbourne parish councillor Margaret Sharp, who has been on the parish council for 26 years, said: “She’d always got something to report. “It was a good thing, because it got things done. She knew everybody, she very often knew who to contact about issues up at Matlock (the headquarters of Derbyshire County Council, the body responsible for roads and schools, among other things). “She was very keen on Melbourne, and on Kings Newton. We really missed her when she stopped coming to meetings.” Melbourne Parish Council holds a public meeting on the first Tuesday of every month, at the Assembly Rooms, at 7.30pm (apart from August). At the start of every meeting, local residents are able to speak on issues of public concern. n Obituary – Page 15.

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Laura brings hypnobirthing to Melbourne

HYPNOBIRTHING classes aiming to empower couples having babies are coming to Derbyshire for the first time – courtesy of a new Melbourne practitioner. Hypnobirthing is a birthing technique that has become increasingly popular in London and in the US, with fans including Jessica Alba, Harry Kane and his wife, Russell Brand, and, so it is reported, The Duchess of Cambridge. Now, hypnobirthing classes are coming to Melbourne, led by local mum-of-three Laura Wilkinson, a Katherine Graves-trained hypnobirthing teacher who is conducting the sessions through the Happy Birthing Co. So what’s it all about? “Hypnobirthing is about taking things back and really teaching women to trust their own body and allow it to act as it has done for thousands of years,” she explained. “It trains the unconscious mind that when you go into labour, your body will already know what it needs to do. It’s really getting into the zone of being able to give birth to your baby.” Complementary techniques and the NHS are not always happy bedfellows, but Katherine Graves hypnobirthing has been endorsed by the Royal College of Midwives, with around 1,000 midwives having themselves been trained in the technique. Also central to the classes, Laura said, was empowering women to ask questions in the delivery room: different pain relief drugs they may be being offered, decisions that were being made and encouraging dads or birth partners to have a more proactive role in proceedings: “In hypnobirthing, the birth partner is a really key person. The man often feels almost like a spare part … but they do have a job, they are the people who ensure there’s peace and quiet, they take on the role of asking the questions – it’s just about keeping the situation calm.” Laura had not heard of hypnobirthing when she had her own three children, but has had some interesting experiences of helping others have babies – she used to be an ambulance operator and

personally assisted in 27 births over the telephone! “People sometimes call 999 when they are in labour and it tends to be that they have really left it to the last minute!” she said. “When a baby is coming, a baby is coming. I’d speak to the dad or grandma, give instructions to deliver the baby – that was the best part of the job.” For Laura, hypnobirthing is not necessarily about refusing pain relief (although that may be a side-effect), and not about having yummy mummy magazine-spread ‘perfect’ births, but just encouraging women and their partners to know what to expect, how to stay positive when faced with more complicated situations like breech births, and to be unafraid to ask questions. Above all, she said she wanted to help women who might have experienced traumatic first births not to feel afraid about going through childbirth again, if they wanted more children. Classes are due to start in April at Amalfi White. – Lucy Stephens

End of era as John calls time on political life

AFTER 20 years at the heart of local political life, having contested and won nine consecutive county and district elections, Alderman John Harrison has decided not to seek re-election to the district council this May. He retired from the county council in 2013. Over these years John has been totally dedicated to advancing and promoting the interests of Melbourne and surrounding villages at both county and district levels. With his background career as the director of the UK Knitting Industries’ Federation, where he was the voice of the industry in Whitehall, Westminster and Brussels for 25 years, he was well qualified for a life in politics. “I was a bit of a poacher turned gamekeeper,” he said. A skilled negotiator with well-polished communication and interpersonal skills ideally suited him to the role. He had also served for over 10 years as a Lay Member of an Employment Tribunal in Sheffield. One issue taxed his skills to the full. In his Derbyshire County Council Cabinet portfolio, it fell to him to process the requirement to introduce single status employment across the county council. “It was not easy to deliver,” he said, “but we managed the transition harmoniously whereas others faced damaging industrial action.” His 13 years as a county councillor have been rewarded with the title of Honorary

Alderman. Meanwhile, at the district council, John has been chairman of the influential Finance and Management Committee where, he says, the finances are in an enviable position, with strong levels of reserves on both the General Fund and the Housing Revenue Account through to 2023/24. Arguably, the greatest achievement locally of his long tenure has been the realisation of his long-held aspiration to see modern outdoor sports facilities in Melbourne. Under his chairmanship, the Melbourne Sporting Partnership of the cricket, football, netball, rugby and tennis clubs joined

together, in association with both the district and parish councils, to fulfil the shared ambition. The £3million Melbourne Sports Park was achieved with funding of £1million from SDDC, topped-up with further grants from the Football Foundation, Sport England, RFU, DCC and local donations. The new facilities were finally opened jointly by the SDDC Chairman, Cllr Pat Murray and John in September 2016; he is now proud to be the MSP’s honorary president. He has always found time to support MARS (Melbourne Assembly Rooms) deal with the district council and has held senior roles in other local organisations – being past president of Melbourne Town Band; Melbourne Cricket Club and vice-presidents of Melbourne Male Voice Choir and the rugby football club. John has also helped countless individuals with more personal matters they have raised with him. He has decided to stand down as “I‘ve reached my four score years and going now could avoid a costly by-election later”, he joked sardonically. John has had a second career in local government to be proud of and deserves the thanks and plaudits for such a long time in public service. From all of us in Melbourne and surrounding villages, Thanks John, you have done us proud! – Frank Hughes

Village Voice March 2019 13


In its picturesque poolside setting, Melbourne Hall wa was home to Victorian Prime Minister Willia iam m Lamb.


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AFTER being twice a finalist, then runnerup, this year Melbourne’s Chip and Pin finally was rewarded with the prestigious CAMRA award of “Country Pub of the Year” for Derby Branch. The annual county-wide competition is judged by members of the Campaign For Real Ale, secret shoppers and the general public to ensure that the winning pub meets their exacting standards for quality and variety of beers, the atmosphere and décor and the service. One of the Chip and Pin owners, Elaine Chadwick, said: “It really is a fantastic

achievement. It is brilliant – I am so proud!” The accolade is a great honour for any local pub and it is bound to attract visitors not just to the pub but also to the village. Since opening in October 2014, the pub has kept true to its ethos of serving real ales and ciders from different local breweries. The tally kept in the pub shows that it has sold more than 2,000 different beers and 2,300-plus casks of ale from over 700 breweries. Elaine wished to thank “our customers, especially those who voted for us, our suppliers, and of course, our amazing team”.

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14 Village Voice March 2019 I am trying to make contact with a lady with whom I shared a rail journey from London St Pancras to East Midlands Parkway on 19th September of last year. I do not have a name, but I do know that her family home is in Melbourne and that she currently lives and works in London, working mainly on the restoration of important historic buildings. On this occasion she was travelling home to Melbourne to celebrate her birthday. If anyone reading this message does know, or recognise the lady described, I would be extremely grateful if they would pass on to her the contact details below. Contact - David on - 07544 531947

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Male voice choir singing out for help

MELBOURNE Male Voice Choir (MMVC) is reaching out to the community to help it survive. With dwindling numbers and an ageing membership, the choir is at serious risk of going under, bringing to an end a distinguished and acclaimed history. Speaking on behalf of the choir, treasurer John Smallwood said that, although there were about 20 members, due to illness or other reasons they were down to around 15 singers. Re-formed in 1977, MMVC has had many highlights, singing in festival and concert performances in some prestigious venues, including the Royal Albert Hall. Members have also enjoyed foreign tours and exchanges with choirs from other countries. They are still performing, with a forthcoming concert in East Leake on May 3, and doubling up with The Travelling People, at Melbourne Assembly Rooms on May 25, for what will be one of the last performances for the popular folk group. “We have had a few new recruits, including two young members who are both under 12, but we are desperately in need of more singers,” said John. “We are prepared to look at whether we would need to change practice nights or any other arrangements if that would attract new singers.” Anyone still at primary or secondary school would be excused subscriptions too. The decline in membership is an issue concerning male voice choirs across the country. Even at the home of the International Eisteddfod in Llangollen, the local male voice choir has just announced it is disbanding after 40 years. MMVC hopes it will not have to follow suit, so would love to hear from anyone who would like to join the male singing group and give them the boost of support it needs. To contact the choir visit its website or Facebook page, or drop into a rehearsal any Friday evening at St Michael’s House by the parish church. Alternatively, go and try singing with the choir at its open evening on April 12. – Frank Hughes

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l Melbourne Assembly Rooms was the scene for this homespun image when Margreta Dawson, a member of the Association of Guilds of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers, was demonstrating the art of spinning at a craft fair held in February. Our photographer Tina Baker was on hand to take this picture. Margreta has been spinning for the past 20 years. The craft and gift fair was held on February 23.

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THERE has been much debate with regard to the management of traffic in Melbourne village centre but whatever action, if any, is taken needs to be seen within the context of a wider vision for the village. I propose that the vision be built around converting the Market Place into a pedestrianised market area. The proposal does not rely on a one-way system, thus removing the threat of long journeys around the village. The suggested pedestrianised area would be from the junctions of: Market Place/Derby Road/Chapel Street; Market Place/Potter Street; and Market Place/High Street/Church Street. Crucially, the Market Place/High Street/Church Street would need to be remodelled, moving the through roadway to the other side of the Coronation Shelter. This may require the re-siting or removal of the shelter. This would create space for a regular market in the village centre as well as parking on non-market days. Removing one of the alternate routes on Castle Street would also create a few more car parking spaces. Further parking spaces could be created by a staggered crossroads between Chapel Street/Pack

Horse Road/Station Road/ Castle Street. Creating two right angle junctions would slow down the traffic on roads that can be quite difficult to cross particularly with children. This, plus the removal of the grassed areas, could create space for additional parking close to the village centre. I recognise that this proposal is not without its challenges, not least who would pay for it. However, having a pedestrianised Market Place would create a vibrant and safe village centre for both residents and visitors. Steve Spear Melbourne

Thank you

BOOK it, don’t just Thomas Cook it! Many thanks for the Thomas Cook article and book review (Village Voice, February edition), of How a Melbourne Man Shaped the High Street. While some Victorian values may be applaudable, Thomas Cook’s values were based on Christian virtues. These were both foundational and motivational within his world view. Thanks again. Steve Blackaby (Pastor) Melbourne Baptist Church

OBITUARIES DAVID JOHN POTTS May 4, 1971 – February 7, 2019 DAVE was the first of three children born to Sue and Tel Potts on May 4, 1971 – just three days after his future wife Gail, at Derby City Hospital, in opposite beds. The family lived on Commerce Street at the time but then moved to Derby Road, and then to North Street before settling, when Dave was seven, in Queensway. Dave’s love of cricket became apparent from his earliest days playing cricket in the garden with his brother, Andy – although his sister, Sarah, didn’t remember them as fondly, her main role being to retrieve the ball from neighbours’ gardens. Dave wasn’t a great fan of school and at Melbourne Junior School there was a very unkind rule that if you didn’t get at least 15 out of 20 in your spelling test you couldn’t go swimming: Dave would often run his swimming trunks under the tap so they were wet when he got home, having not reached the required score. Dave’s best friend at school was Gail, and the pair started

JOHN PETER GLAZE 1946 – 2019 JOHN was born on October 17, 1946, to mother Kath and father Jack in Erdington, Birmingham. Mum and dad ran a newsagents and growing up he was involved in the business from an early age. A lovely image of his early years is of him doing his paper round … on a horse, and the horse knew the round better than he did. He had a life-long love of horses and until very recently had been a keen rider. He had many horses over the years including Jimmy, Loppy, Ben, Kelly, Maisie and Ruby. His friend Anne Hudson had met him when she was aged 12, and she soon fell in love with the dark-haired beast – his new gelding Fury! “It was obvious he had a gift with animals. There was something about his quiet manner that calmed them,” she re-

going out together when they were 16. He was one of the first boys to take cookery at ‘O’ level, and he always loved cooking, often surprising Gail with fivecourse candlelit gourmet meals. Dates with Gail would generally see Dave returning her home by 9pm – very chivalrous, but this gave him the opportunity for him to meet his dad in the Legion for a pint. The Legion remained a very important part of Dave’s life and he served on the committee for many years. On one of their dates, Dave and Gail went on a ghost walk together which saw Dave hitting his head, hard, on a tunnel roof when someone in a ghostly

called. As well as horses, John’s other passion was for pubs! Sundays would be spent driving mum, dad and his nan out to a country pub for lunch. Indeed, it is as a local publican most of us in Melbourne will remember him – as the landlord of the Sir Francis Burdett in Kings Newton. In 1978 the Glazes had decided to move to a country pub and purchased the ‘Burdett’. One Saturday in May 1980 a friend from the Atherstone Hunt brought her housemate to the ‘Burdett’ for pizza. Which is how John first met his wife, Jo. Later that year Jo got a job working in Derby and found a good friend in John. Jo and he were married in 1985 and Vicky was born to them in 1986 to complete the family. As soon as Vicky was old enough, she was lifted into a saddle, with her own pony, and she too grew to love being around horses just like her dad.

EILEEN HARDY 1936 – 2019 EILEEN Hardy, a popular lady from Kings Newton, passed away peacefully at the Royal Derby Hospital on January 15, 2019, and her funeral was held on February 7. Eileen was born on September 18, 1936, and spent her formative years living in Madley Street, Derby. She started her working life as an errand girl in the drawing offices at Rolls-Royce before moving to the laboratory where she met her future husband Bryan. They married on June 30, 1956, at Boulton St Marys and started married life in Cameron

Road, Derby. In 1960 they moved to Kings Newton into a new property being built in

Village Voice March 2019 15

costume jumped out at them. On that night he asked Gail to move in with him. Despite her suspicion this might have been the result of concussion, Gail agreed and the pair were married at Loughborough Registry Office in 1998, Dave’s proudest moments coming three years later when Harry was born in 2001 followed by Charlotte in 2007. On leaving school at 16 Dave started working with his dad in the family plumbing and building firm, but in 1995 Dave saw a new opportunity in laminate flooring. Branching off on his own, he became one of the foremost installers in the country, an absolute perfectionist who would spend hours to get one small problem area just right. Regularly called on to do installations at major flooring exhibitions and problem solving all over the country, the work finally took a toll on his knees and he retired from flooring in October 2018 when he and Gail set up a sweet stall in Burton Market Hall. Dave had a lifelong love of cricket, and also fishing. One particular highlight as a boy was when he made the junior section of the Angling Times

for the possibly unique achievement of having caught a pigeon. But just before Christmas Dave began to feel unwell and when he finally got to A&E early in 2019, he had suffered a massive heart attack. After spending two weeks on Coronary Care at the Royal Derby Hospital and as a result of the extensive treatment Dave received for his heart attack he suffered two large brain haemorrhages. Despite surgeries and treatment he passed away peacefully three weeks later, surrounded by his family at the Queen’s Medical Centre, Nottingham. Dave was a family man and worked hard to provide for his family: he leaves his wife Gail, son Harry and daughter Charlotte. The family will always be grateful for the care that Dave was given in those final days and weeks, and donations in lieu of flowers will be used by the family to buy equipment for the QMC Adult Intensive Care Unit and their Visitors’ Waiting Room. Any donations may be made payable to J P Springthorpe & Co Ltd Charity Account.

Hunting and long-distance horse rides were a favourite pursuit for them. After closing the pub John had a range of jobs including caretaker at Loughborough and Derby universities where he enjoyed helping the students in the halls of residence. John was also chairman of the Scout and

Guide Hut. As well as family, horses and pubs, John had an uncomplicated faith and became deeply involved in the local parish church; he was proud to carry the processional cross as Crucifer or to offer his help in any way he could. Rev Short referred to him as a builder, both in the practical sense, but also as a builder of friendships and relationships. Many of us in Melbourne will carry strong and fond memories of John, behind the bar late at night with a bountiful plate of food, of him doing many kindnesses, or just a cheery wave from his horse along the path. One of his favourite sayings was “aren’t we lucky” in that slight Brummie accent. Well, yes – John, we were. Very lucky to have known you and had you as a friend. John died on February 15, in hospital from heart failure and complications after fracturing his hip in a fall.

Trent Lane and have lived there ever since. In the same year Graeme, the first of four children, came along, followed by another three within seven years: Simon, Alison and Sarah. Whilst the children were small Eileen worked a twilight shift on the land for Don and Joan Earp and Denys Collyer. As the children grew up, she then worked for Castle Mills, sewing nighties. During the 1970s Eileen was a member of Melbourne Parish Council and also moved to British Midland in 1972 being the catering superintendent, making sure that the pilots and crew had a meal when flying. She worked there for 26 years before retiring in 1998.

Tragedy struck in 1981 when Simon was tragically killed in a motor bike accident in the village. In her retirement she continued to enjoy travelling with Bryan all over the world, having many cruises and holidays. She enjoyed life to the full and could often be found in the evening with Bryan having a drink in the village pubs with friends and neighbours. Eileen was a true character in the area and will be sadly missed by her many friends and her relatives. The family would like to thank everyone for their kind words and good wishes during this sad time.


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TWO local sporting groups have benefited from £500 apiece to help grow their activities – and other groups are being told, there’s still cash in the pot! Derbyshire County Council has awarded nearly 100 groups across the county funding from its Action Grant pot in the latest round of the scheme. Melbourne Town Cricket Club has received a £500 Action Grant to train three members to allow junior coaching, and Aston on Trent’s chair-based exercise class is also being awarded the same amount. The Aston group received its £500 in order to buy suitable chairs for the class. The council has awarded Action Grants totalling £291,226 to 283 groups across the county in the first three rounds of the scheme, since it launched in May 2018. Community groups, clubs and charities are being encouraged to apply for the fourth round, which is open now up to a deadline of March 31. Successful applicants should show they are promoting one or more of the Action Grant’s themes, which are youth activity; community activity; physical activity or sport or community safety.

Dave’s sporting legacy lives on

THE legacy of a fine Melbourne cricketer, who has passed away aged only 47, will live on for many years to come, say the town’s cricket club. Dave Potts, cherished husband of Gail, devoted dad to Harry and Charlotte and much-loved son of Sue and Tel, passed away peacefully at The Queen’s Medical Centre early on February 7. Dave had been a long-standing and keen member of Melbourne Town Cricket Club where he played for many years following in the footsteps of his dad, Tel, and alongside brother, Andy. A highly talented spin bowler who could be relied upon to take 50-plus wickets in a season, he captained the second team for years and in total took a remarkable 553 wickets for Melbourne – a score which sees him lie in fourth place on the club’s alltime wicket taking list. Alex Slater, from Melbourne Town Cricket Club, said: “It goes without saying Dave will be sorely missed by everyone at Melbourne Town Cricket


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Club, the most kind, unassuming man you could ever meet. “Dave was a superb cricketer and spin bowler and in his day was almost unplayable, especially the day he took a career best 8-27 against Stainsby Hall back in 1996. “Making his debut at the age of 14, Dave went on to make 302 appearances for the club and what stands out most to me was last season when our third team were short and, despite being in severe pain with his knees, Dave still played, as he wouldn't see the team his son Harry was playing for short. “Dave won countless end of season awards, which included the second team bowler of the year a record eight times. “But possibly his greatest legacy to the club was back in 1990 as it was Dave who started up and coached Melbourne's first ever junior side, taking a

Busiest season yet ahead for cricket club

MELBOURNE Town Cricket Club is gearing up for its busiest season ever in its history and preparations are already in full swing. The club is once again running the ECB All-stars initiative which sees children from the ages of five to eight learn the basic cricket skills in a fun and easy way over an eight-week period. The course starts on Saturday, May 11, from 11.15am to 12.15pm. Any child wishing to attend the course should contact Alex Slater on

team of Under 13s which included his brother Andy through three years of junior cricket until a majority of that side went on to play senior cricket, thus securing the club’s future for many years to come. “In fact, three of those players still play now, some 28 years later, meaning Dave’s legacy will live on for many years.” n For a full appreciation of Dave Potts’ life – Page 15.

07966933583 or follow the link, as places for the course go quickly, with over 45 attending last year. Meanwhile, the club’s senior sides continue their winter practice at the gateway at Derbyshire CC every Sunday from 11am to midday, and the club’s junior section has now started




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Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s two out of two for rugby clubâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 1st XV


SMISBY is to be the new home for a flourishing judo club â&#x20AC;&#x201C; with members as young as seven already winning medals in the sport. Ashby Judo Club, which has up until now met at the Ivanhoe School, is moving to Smisby Village Hall where sessions will be held on Tuesdays for Amateur Judo Association (AJA) and British Judo Association (BJA) members. The club attended the AJA East Midlands closed judo competition on February 10, achieving a â&#x20AC;&#x153;fantastic medal haulâ&#x20AC;?, said club secretary Darren Whitby. Three of the medal winners â&#x20AC;&#x201C; eight-year-old Dina Crosby, seven-year-old Charlie Martin and Ella Whitby â&#x20AC;&#x201C; were participating in their first competition and had taken up the sport only four months before.

SPORT in brief

LOCAL table tennis ace Connie Dumelow, a year seven pupil at Chellaston Academy, won a county under-13 girlsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; table tennis final in Chesterfield in February. She beat a fellow school pupil to carry off the top spot. Connie will now compete in the regional finals. n Weston-on-Trent teenager Corey Rose continues his athletics success by winning the junior boysâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; race at the Derbyshire Schools Cross Country finals, which took place at Shipley Park. Chellaston Academyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s year seven boysâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; team was secondplaced at the event. n Synchronized ice skating team the Icicles Seniors, featuring Melbourne skater Alex Lewsey, has won a place in the world championships due to take place in Helskinki, Finland, in April. Alex is also a member of the Iciclesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; junior side, which also won a place in the world championships.

Village Voice March 2019 19

l Ella and Jake Whitby with Dina Crosby and Charlie Martin with their medals and trophies. Dina took to the mat first in the under-30kg category, winning three fights to secure her gold medal. Charlie was next, in the under-35kg category, in which he took a silver medal, before Ella also took silver in the under-55kgs. Ella then entered an open event, where she took silver again. Jake, 19, was also a winner on the day, securing a gold medal. Mick Avins, a regional

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coach and one of Ashby Ivanhoeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s coaches, said that for three players in the club to win three silver medals and a gold is â&#x20AC;&#x153;brilliant for them and the clubâ&#x20AC;?. Sessions on Tuesday nights in Smisby happen from 6.45pm to 8.15pm, and for graded juniors and seniors on Saturdays from 2.15pm to 4.15pm. For more details, call 0755 335 8812 or you can email

MELBOURNE Rugby Clubâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s first XV continued to show their winning form during February, with two games played and won. Market Rasen & Louth were welcomed to Cockshut Lane on February 16. A good crowd turned out to watch the Midlands Division clash which on Melbourneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s end of the pitch saw James Benstead return to the back row, Joe Stuart and Josh Mallet to the wings, and Oli Saffell and Jack Fisher forge a new centre partnership. Playing to the wind in the first half, Melbourneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s defence was particularly strong against Market Rasenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s big physical side and the home players finished 26-9 up at half-time. When the whistle blew again for the second half of the match, things very much belonged to Melbourne who saw the game out with a final scoreline of 38-12. Man of the Match was awarded to Devon Iliffe, a constant menace at the breakdown and physical throughout. A trip to Matlock on March 2 saw Melbourne once again show their class and discipline, with a mid-time scoreline of 12-13, despite Matlock scoring the first try of the match. Melbourneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s phase play dominated the second half and Andy Martin scored an excellent finish, which saw the away side secure a 17-33

victory, although Matlock continued to fight. The second XV, however, did not fare quite so well against Matlock on the same day, losing 41-19. But this was the first loss for the side after three victories in February, two league wins against Market Rasen seconds and West Bridgford, and a further friendly win for the green and golds second side, against Melton Mowbray seconds. Recent weeks have also seen plenty of action for younger players up at Melbourne Rugby Club. There was disappointment for the U14s as Stamford took the NLD (Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire and Derbyshire) Plate out of Melbourneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s grasp with a final try when the teams met at Derby Rugby Club on March 3, winning 10-7 against the green and golds. The U14s B side put up a strong fight against Ashfield U14s in their NLD bowl contest, but came out runners-up after losing 2612. When it came to the U15s, a friendly against Worcester on March 3 saw a great game and a 5-5 draw at the final whistle. Meanwhile, the U13s showed determination and maturity with a stonking 50-20 win over Long Eaton at a friendly tussle on their home turf at the MSP.


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20 Village Voice March 2019

Bowls club all set for a new season


THE bowls season will be starting up again at Kings Newton Bowls Club this month, with regular Sunday afternoon sessions beginning on March 24. The club welcomed three new elected committee members at its AGM in February: Peter Barton, Richard Deakin and Ian Hazard, who replace Ian Jardine and Roger Timmins who have stepped down. The club has spent money on CCTV cameras to try to combat problems caused by youths congregating on the premises during the dark, winter months. Spending has also been made on the upkeep of the green, but the club reports a small surplus due to a good profit on the takings of the bar. Five of the club’s teams also achieved promotion from their various leagues last season. The Sunday open afternoons start at 1pm.



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l Melbourne Dynamo Reserves: (back row l-r) – Adam Dolman, Toby Foxon, Jack Scothern, Dave Brough, Charlie Edmondson, Andy Mackin, Joe Shadbolt, Brad King, Alex O’Brien, Ash Smith; (front row) – Steve Mackin, Vinny Hallifield, Dan Toon (captain), Duane Mclelan (manager), Ryan Mclaughlin (vicecaptain), Harry Foxon and Scott Radley.

Double title chase still on the cards

MELBOURNE Dynamo Football Club continued their run of good form into the month of February as both their Saturday senior sides chase league titles in the MRA premier and division one leagues respectively. Dynamo Reserves have managed to claw back a nine-point deficit on division one league leaders Sherwin to end the month just three points off top spot. They began February with a hard fought 1-0 away win against Little Eaton Reserves, with Joe Shadbolt getting the all-important goal. A bad spell of weather saw the Saturday Reserves play only once more but they did make it eight consecutive wins by trouncing a young Wirksworth Ivanhoe Reserves. Dave Brough led the way with a hat-trick of tap-ins plus strikes from Harry Foxon, Jack Scothern and one for leading goal scorer Brad King completed the victory. Melbourne Dynamo’s Saturday first team maintained their nine-

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point lead at the top of the MRA premier league with two comfortable wins in the month. The first was versus Castle Donington 51 as Brad Ellis led the way with a brace, ably supported by goals from Jack Bodill, Macaulley Jones and Dave Worger. This was followed a week later with a trip to Wirksworth where they beat a Wirksworth Town Reserve side 5-0 with Matt Lander and Jack Bodill both scoring doubles along with a Karl Munton strike to end February on a run of 14 straight wins. Only three games were possible for Melbourne Dynamo Sunday Senior sides and the first team started with an entertaining 5-3 away win against Etwall Rangers. Skipper Paul Lakin and Callum Horton both scored braces along with a debut goal for Joe Shadbolt. This match also saw 16-year-old Ellis Dacre make his Dynamo debut in goal; in doing so he became the youngest ever player to play for Dynamo Senior side in their history. The only other game the first team played in the month was again a goal fest as they drew 4-4 with second placed Abbey Court Car Sales. Dynamo raced into a 3-1 lead, thanks to two Harry Foxon finishes and a screamer from Dom Hurst. Abbey Court then scored three quick goals and it was left to centre half Jack Searcy to tuck away a corner in the last minute to claim a deserved point. The Sunday Reserves’ only match in February saw them take the lead away to Chimneys before going down 4-1, leading scorer Jacob Vella getting the goal after good work from Joe Dale. Melbourne Dynamo Under 15s are nearing the end of their season as an impressive set of results have seen them climb to second place in the Derby City Sunday league Division One; they have amassed 36 points from their 14 league games. They have scored over 100 goals in all matches this season, including winning nine on the bounce since early November and only conceding three goals. Hopefully, this form will continue as they have a cup final on Sunday, March 17, against Belvedere Park at the Moorways Bowl. It’s a 3pm kick-off with all Dynamo support welcome. After a disappointing season last year, finishing second bottom with only two wins, Melbourne Dynamo U14s hoped for a better campaign this term. Sunday, February 24, saw them complete their 2018/2019 season much improved, finishing second in division two of the Derby City Football League. They won nine games, drew one and only lost two. It was made more difficult when they were without their regular goalkeeper for the first nine games due to injury, but centre-half Freddie Oxspring deputised admirably during that period. The two games lost were to the team who finished above them, who finished the season unbeaten. The team performed well during the season, playing some good attacking football and scoring some lovely “team goals” – 61 in total! Alfie Riley and Charlie Tovell were the main strikers, scoring 23 and 18 goals respectively which gained the Under 14s promotion up to division one next season.

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